Fashion: The guest list (or how to turn heads as the best-dressed)

The One-Shoulder Cape Dress: Really dressy and sophisticated, with its statement one-bare-shoulder style (often classier than both) but given a demure edge with a cape or deep panel frill over the bust area. It's definitely a look that says "look at me", but which also keeps something back, adding an air of mystery. Ideal both for those who like to be seen and not heard too much, and those who secretly see a wedding as a flirting opportunity.
Pink one shoulder dress, �244.99, by Kevan Jon, and his outfit, all at Accent Clothing.
The One-Shoulder Cape Dress: Really dressy and sophisticated, with its statement one-bare-shoulder style (often classier than both) but given a demure edge with a cape or deep panel frill over the bust area. It's definitely a look that says "look at me", but which also keeps something back, adding an air of mystery. Ideal both for those who like to be seen and not heard too much, and those who secretly see a wedding as a flirting opportunity. Pink one shoulder dress, �244.99, by Kevan Jon, and his outfit, all at Accent Clothing.
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From party queen to effortless sophisticate, these are the head-turning best-dressed looks you need to know about for this summer’s weddings. Stephanie Smith has advice on how to choose your special occasion outfit with care.

Be the best you can be… but, most of all, be yourself. This is sound advice for brides-to-be, when choosing a wedding dress and the whole look that goes with it. And exactly the same advice should apply to those lesser mortals, the wedding guests.

The Volume Silhouette Dress: This year's swingy A-line shapes are the on-trend, contemporary way to do special occasion. Flattering, as long as you balance yourself and keep the rest of the look simple, so no wild accessories. Great with an updo, and done well, really dressy in a wow sort of way. Ideal for fashion lovers of all ages with confidence (and determined to eat a proper meal).
Galaxy Seattle dress, �190, by Leeds based designer James Steward on JamesSteward.co.uk.

The Volume Silhouette Dress: This year's swingy A-line shapes are the on-trend, contemporary way to do special occasion. Flattering, as long as you balance yourself and keep the rest of the look simple, so no wild accessories. Great with an updo, and done well, really dressy in a wow sort of way. Ideal for fashion lovers of all ages with confidence (and determined to eat a proper meal). Galaxy Seattle dress, �190, by Leeds based designer James Steward on JamesSteward.co.uk.

It’s all very well wanting to stand out, but it should be for the right reasons, not because you have chosen to look like a chorus dancer from Chicago or (as I was once described) like Little Bo Peep, looking for her sheep – I knew that hat was a mistake.

It’s hard to place a finger on why, but in recent years, looking good at a wedding, or another special day-to-night event, seems to matter a great deal more than it used to.

Perhaps it’s because we are less likely to see wider family members than we once were, so we want to impress and reassure them by presenting ourselves looking happy, healthy, and somehow pulled-together and grown-up (but not old, obviously, not old).

We want to impress with our knowledge of the contemporary, sophisticated world, which means knowing what’s appropriate, what’s in and, most importantly, what we look good in.

The Statement Jumpsuit: If you really do want to wear white to a wedding (assuming you are not the bride) a jumpsuit is probably your only option, as long as it looks nothing like a dress. A contemporary all-in-one look says "I'm unconventional, I like to look different and I intend not to get so drunk that I can't work out how to go to the Ladies." Ideal for Bright Young Things who don't mind aged relatives tutting.
Trinity Bardot jumpsuit, �149.99, and his outfit, all from Accentl Clothing in Leeds.

The Statement Jumpsuit: If you really do want to wear white to a wedding (assuming you are not the bride) a jumpsuit is probably your only option, as long as it looks nothing like a dress. A contemporary all-in-one look says "I'm unconventional, I like to look different and I intend not to get so drunk that I can't work out how to go to the Ladies." Ideal for Bright Young Things who don't mind aged relatives tutting. Trinity Bardot jumpsuit, �149.99, and his outfit, all from Accentl Clothing in Leeds.

We want to be noticed for our insight and style, which means channelling all-important key trends, while not looking like anyone else. Annie Cutillo, at independent fashion store Accent Clothing in Leeds, says: “For women, this includes modified silhouettes and unique patterns and prints. Whether this be an altered neckline or an asymmetric hem, we are noticing that our customers want something that’s a little bit different with an exclusive feel.

“For men, we are seeing a growing trend of bolder colours and detailed styling. Men are stepping away from the safe blue blazer/white shirt combination and experimenting with a variety of distinctive designs and accessories, including ties and pocket squares.”

Accent Clothing has been established for 33 years, and favourite labels among its customers include Kevan Jon and Rebecca Rhodes for women and for menswear Gibson London and Remus.

As special occasion fashion becomes more accessible both in stores and online the demand for something unique – at least for the particular event they are attending – rises from customers, says Annie.

The Slinky Dress and Jacket Combo: Regal and commanding, this is a traditional wedding guest look, but one that oozes power and poise. It require a degree of body confidence to wear a dress so clingy, but it's amazing what underpinnings can do, and the cropped jacket balances hips so worth pear shapes trying too. Accessorise to the max for full-on glamour. Ideal for mothers of brides/grooms and power dressers.
Pink dress and matching jacket, �795, at Snooty Frox in Harrogate.

The Slinky Dress and Jacket Combo: Regal and commanding, this is a traditional wedding guest look, but one that oozes power and poise. It require a degree of body confidence to wear a dress so clingy, but it's amazing what underpinnings can do, and the cropped jacket balances hips so worth pear shapes trying too. Accessorise to the max for full-on glamour. Ideal for mothers of brides/grooms and power dressers. Pink dress and matching jacket, �795, at Snooty Frox in Harrogate.

“We recommend that if you want to stand out, you inject your outfit with colourful accessories. Team a dress with a bright red bag or a suit with a checked shirt. Have fun with different patterns, prints and styles.”

As for avoiding the dreaded “same dress” crisis: “Our biggest tip is to look for something that not only looks great, but that you feel great wearing,” says Annie. “That way, even if you do find yourself in a same dress scenario, you’ll still be happy with your outfit choice and feel fabulous.”

The Monochrome Print Dress: Look for something elegant, romantic and floaty, but with a darker, sophisticated and knowing edge. This is a look that says, "I won't pretend marriage is going to be pastel sweet, not even on a wedidng day, but I still want to mark the occasion with a seriously lovely dress." Ideal for recent divorcees and those who prefer to keep it real.
Maxi dress by Religion, �89.99, at Leeds fashion retailer Accent Clothing.

The Monochrome Print Dress: Look for something elegant, romantic and floaty, but with a darker, sophisticated and knowing edge. This is a look that says, "I won't pretend marriage is going to be pastel sweet, not even on a wedidng day, but I still want to mark the occasion with a seriously lovely dress." Ideal for recent divorcees and those who prefer to keep it real. Maxi dress by Religion, �89.99, at Leeds fashion retailer Accent Clothing.

The Floral Floaty Maxi Dress: The modern boho trend is a must for those who want to key into the festival Coachella vibe, standing out by looking off-beat, slightly casual, and if you were made for summer and the great outdoors. No blinging jewels for an elegant wedding guest look, although braids and flowers in the hair will add a chic honorary bridesmaid touch. Ideal for those who are quietly competitive about their fashion, and pretty much everything else, but like to present a carefree, insouciant attitude.
Sophie dress in Gemma Bloom, �225, by Ghost at Victoria Gate Leeds.

The Floral Floaty Maxi Dress: The modern boho trend is a must for those who want to key into the festival Coachella vibe, standing out by looking off-beat, slightly casual, and if you were made for summer and the great outdoors. No blinging jewels for an elegant wedding guest look, although braids and flowers in the hair will add a chic honorary bridesmaid touch. Ideal for those who are quietly competitive about their fashion, and pretty much everything else, but like to present a carefree, insouciant attitude. Sophie dress in Gemma Bloom, �225, by Ghost at Victoria Gate Leeds.

The Prom Queen Look: The Fifties' prom party style look is definitely popular, although not necessarily among those of prom queen age. More mature women are choosing it for its flattering shape, with nipped in waist and hip-hiding full skirt, balanced by a wide neckline. Wear with wacky sunglasses, but ditch the fascinator if you want to look contemporary, rather than pastiche. Perfect for mildly eccentric (in a good way) aunties and those who love to party.
Ian Stuart Gin Savoy brocade dress, ?1,050, from Snooty Frox in Harrogate.

The Prom Queen Look: The Fifties' prom party style look is definitely popular, although not necessarily among those of prom queen age. More mature women are choosing it for its flattering shape, with nipped in waist and hip-hiding full skirt, balanced by a wide neckline. Wear with wacky sunglasses, but ditch the fascinator if you want to look contemporary, rather than pastiche. Perfect for mildly eccentric (in a good way) aunties and those who love to party. Ian Stuart Gin Savoy brocade dress, ?1,050, from Snooty Frox in Harrogate.

The Satin Button-through Dress: In print or plain, a shirt or button-through dress, in a beautiful drapey fabric and flattering cut, will always look effortlessly sophisticated, without trying to hard. Look for unusual colours and patterns, and accessorise with simple chic pieces in toning shades. Ideal for those who want to feel comfortable but look thoughtful and elegant. Think new mums and those who don't like to make a fuss of anything.
Meryl dress in Marina Bloom, �195, at Ghost in Victoria Gate Leeds.

Meryl dress in Marina Bloom, �195, at Ghost in Victoria Gate Leeds.

The Satin Button-through Dress: In print or plain, a shirt or button-through dress, in a beautiful drapey fabric and flattering cut, will always look effortlessly sophisticated, without trying to hard. Look for unusual colours and patterns, and accessorise with simple chic pieces in toning shades. Ideal for those who want to feel comfortable but look thoughtful and elegant. Think new mums and those who don't like to make a fuss of anything. Meryl dress in Marina Bloom, �195, at Ghost in Victoria Gate Leeds. Meryl dress in Marina Bloom, �195, at Ghost in Victoria Gate Leeds.